That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; ~Colossians 1:10
Jotham was twenty and five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name also was Jerushah, the daughter of Zadok. And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Uzziah did: howbeit he entered not into the temple of the LORD. And the people did yet corruptly.
A core principle about leaders and followers is that “people do what people see.” Dr. Lee Roberson used to say that “everything rises and falls on leadership.” The law in leadership is that followers seldom do more than or rise above the example of the leader. Our example by our words and deeds do have an effect on those who watch us. This morning, let us see how a decision by King Jotham would have serious consequences in the life of his son Ahaz years later. Let us see why it does not pay to play hooky from church.
We see Jotham’s heart.
Doing right in the sight of the Lord is doing those things that are pleasing to God. I believe that he had his daily devotions. I believe that he prayed to God more than once a day. I believe that he treated the people of his kingdom right. He stood against his enemies and their pagan practices. He observed the feasts and ceremonies. He did not oppress or take advantage of the people. He read God’s Word and did his best to obey God. He did that which was right. Bob Jones, Sr. used to say, “Do right till the stars fall”! Keep your heart with all diligence, and do what is right in the eyes of God.
We see Jotham’s hesitancy.
“Howbeit he entered not into the temple of the LORD. And the people did yet corruptly.” Jotham was reluctant and hesitant about doing two things. The first is that he did not enter into the temple of the Lord. It is unclear if his father’s sin in trying to usurp the authority of the high priest and perform a burnt sacrifice made him reserved and fearful. We just know that he made a deliberate decision while he was king to not attend the temple services. People have all kinds of excuses as to why they “cannot” attend church. When it’s all boiled down, non-attendance of church is “forsaking the assembling of ourselves together” and irreverence towards the worship of God. The second thing is that “the people did yet corruptly,” and he did not address this. The people practiced idolatry, usury, immoral relationships, and other wicked behavior. He did not take a stand against their sins. During his reign, the people grew worse spiritually, and not better.
We see Jotham’s harm.
“Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem: but he did not that which was right in the sight of the LORD, like David his father.” Ahaz was Jotham’s son. Ahaz was one of the worst kings of Judah. Jotham’s non-involvement also included the sins of his heirs. Ahaz opened the door for more idolatry. He sacrificed his own children in the fire. He brought in full-scale idolatry. He defiled the house of God. Worst, under Ahaz, the house of the Lord was closed and boarded up! Jotham’s hesitancy resulted in the worst coming out of Ahaz. Jotham’s non-attendance in the temple and non- correction of the sins of the people left a legacy of sin and wickedness that he could never have imagined. Hundreds of thousands of the Jews were taken as captives. He gave away much of the temple wealth. Jotham’s disregard of the temple resulted in further corruption and spiritual devastation. Our example to those watching us does affect a future generation. Don’t forsake church and taking a stand where there is sin. Have courage and always do right!
Have a faithful God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Isaiah 54-58